The South Devon AONB Unit is delighted to announce that it has been awarded a £220,900 development grant by The National Lottery Heritage Fund as initial support for its multi partner ‘Life on the Edge’ programme to help restore thriving populations of some of the UK’s rarest insects living along the South Devon Coast between Berry Head and Wembury.
The award to the partnership led by the AONB together with Buglife, The National Trust and Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust has been made possible by National Lottery players. It will work with residents, parish councils, schools and landowners to protect and restore precious coastal wildlife and connect communities with nature.
The development phase of the project commencing in April 2022 will provide habitat management advice to farmers in the key biodiversity hotspots ensuring these are sustained in the long term and it will pilot the development of Parish Pollinator Plans. The development funding will enable the project plans to be progressed and an application for a full National Lottery grant to be made at a later date.
Five project hotspots will include Wembury, The Erme Mothecome-Holbeton, Bolt Head to Bolt Tail, Prawle Point to Start Point, and Brownstone to Berry Head. Life on the Edge will support and engage the whole community, farmers, parish councils and school children, providing opportunities for everyone to get involved and make a real difference for these extraordinary and highly vulnerable species.
By restoring habitat at a landscape scale Life on the Edge will provide a sustainable home for rare insects such as the Six-banded nomad bee (Nomada sexfaciata), Long-horned bee (Eucera longicornis) and Short-necked oil beetle (Meloe brevicollis).
Nicky Bailey, Communities Officer for the South Devon AONB Unit commented “ We are thrilled to receive this support from National Lottery players. We now have an opportunity to restore these vital habitats and along with our partners to engage with whole communities, within and beyond the AONB.”
Andrew Whitehouse of Buglife said “This is such good news. The funding will provide a lifeline to some of the UK’s most threatened species.”
Further information about the project is available at: https://www.southdevonaonb.org.uk/projects/life-on-the-edge/